Good evening, Creeps and Creepettes. Welcome to my haunted library of ghosts, goblins, and otherworldly critters. A world of frights and delights; of monsters, ghouls, and dolls that creep and crawl. I'm here to open my grimoire and tell you about urban legends, cryptids, folklore, mythology, and haunted curiosities hidden away in the Warrens' Occult Museum. Most importantly, I'm going to tell you which of them I could kill with my bare hands.
Today's case is a hairy, smelly creature that dwells deep in the Florida Everglades. And folks, I almost married her.
We are discussing the most nefarious cryptid south of the Mighty Mississippi. A monster known colloquially as Bigfoot's cousin, except he's shorter and carries a foul odor. That's right gang, we are diving deep on the Skunk Ape, also known as Squatch's stinky little cousin, Florida Bigfoot, or "Hey lil guy, whatcha got down there?"
He's anywhere between 5-7 feet tall and smells like a hot shower fart. He's covered in reddish fur like an orangutan and harnesses the raw strength of other primates, but also a superior intellect that allows him to stay hidden for so long. While the name 'Skunk Ape' doesn't conjure the same kind of imagery as something like 'Loch Ness Monster' or 'Abominable Snowman,' 'Professional Super Smash Bros Player' doesn't look as good on t-shirts or bumper stickers, just on sex offender registries.
Indigenous folklore tells of a foul-smelling giant hairy man called the Esti Capcaki. The Seminoles thought they were encountering a new species of animal in the wild, but unbeknownst to them they were just seeing an Italian for the first time. Settlers took this bit of folklore while they were taking their land, because they figured if they're manifesting destiny they might as well take their cryptids, too. And thus the legend of the Skunk Ape was born.
The Socially Awkward Ape Who Is Also Smelly has many sightings in the South, but a majority of them come from Florida. It's actually quite popular there. More people in Florida have seen this smelly smoll bean than have seen the Dolphins win a playoff game. Sightings were most common between the 1950s and the 1970s. Now, cryptid enthusiasts will tell you that this surge in sightings was was directly correlated to the interstate highway being built and the clearing out of swamp lands. While I am a believer in all monsters, I personally find it easier to believe that there just so happened to be a lot of tall, smelly dudes living Buttfuck, Florida in the 60's.
Among the many sightings were Richard Smith, a man who definitely wasn't drunk driving who slammed into what he thought was a tall man in dark clothes. The seven foot tall hairy creature stood up, roared, and charged at his car. Ole Dick Smith cheesed it away from the scene of the hit and run, as was the style at the time. Over the next couple of hours, multiple drivers reported seeing a "limping giant" walking along the highway before it disappeared into the brush. Police officers searched the swamp at dawn but neither they nor the helicopters could find anything.
In 1997, a tour bus carrying thirty tourists stopped at a wooden bridge to observe a large creature standing behind the brush about seventy yards away. It was seven feet tall and covered head to toe with thick brown hair. The bus stayed put and everyone on board watched the Ape for fifteen minutes. Not a single god damned one of them took a picture. Not a one. And then...they just drove off. That was it.
The best piece of evidence (read: the only one that isn't someone saying "I swear to God I saw it and it smelled like shit, you hafta believe me") came in the year 2000. An anonymous woman in Sarasota County, Florida sent the police a letter with two photographs attached. The letter said that what appeared to be an escaped orangutan had been stealing apples from her porch for the past couple of nights. The following photograph was attached:
Now that the initial shock of seeing that thing has passed, let's back up a couple of steps. Imagine yourself seeing what can only be described as one of Hell's messengers at your house multiple times and writing the sheriff a letter that says "this critter's been takin my granny smiths." This golem made out of hair and rage singles out your house among all others and your only thought is "deputy, what kind of pie am I supposed to make now?"
Absolutely fucking bananas. I know it's been overstated for a while now, but Floridians are a different breed. Imagine that thing was in your backyard plucking apples and you ran at it with a broom and told it to skedaddle. I don't know what's in the water down there, but it's gotta be stronger than moonshine.
Modern Day Sightings
This might come as a surprise, but it turns out that as camera phones got better and better, sightings became fewer and farther between. Nature is so full of coincidences (but probably not Skunk Apes). Let's be fair: maybe the giant ape that has a reputation for being a disgusting, hairy, smelly, putrid, rotting, noxious, manlet doesn't want to be photographed. Good luck finding a picture of me from the last decade.
Cowards and nonbelievers will tell you that the sightings are all hoaxes and people are seeing escaped monkeys or mangy bears. My rebuttal to that idea is simple. That goes against everything I've ever believed in. If there isn't a bipedal ape man who smells like shit and farts wandering around Florida then what is the point of all of this? Why do we continue with this daily rat race if not for Him?
How Scared Would I Be?
A level above horrified that doesn't exist in any language. All of the books lost in the Library of Alexandria combined couldn't fully grasp the unrelenting terror that would take full autonomy over my being. I can joke all day about it being only 5 feet tall, and smelling like shit, and being short, and smelly, and gross, and disgusting, and repulsive, and revolting...
but seeing this thing emerge from the tall brush would scare me so bad that even my astral body would empty its bowels.
Fight or Flight
And yet...I'd sense a deep kinship with this hairy oaf, and would wish to protect him instead. If the Skunk Ape and I were to ever share a chance encounter, I would blush and smile nervously. After all, who am I but a hairy oaf who smells of swamp water? He would see me baring my teeth and take it as a sign of aggression and disembowel me. It would take authorities a week to recover every piece of me. Every piece except my heart, which now belongs to Him.
How Would I Kill It?
I don't have the physical wherewithal to do combat with him, nor do I have the smarts to outwit such an elusive creature. But while this little stinker was loafing around the Everglades and scratching his ass in front of tourists, I was studying the blade. I will approach him, assume a defensive stance, anticipate his attack, and get peeled like a fucking banana.
Would I Fuck It?
Look here buddy, if I wanted to fuck a sub-6 foot tall moron that stinks like a crusty 'batin sock left in a hot car, I'd just clone myself.
Could I Fuck It?
If I was sneaky enough, spent enough time scouting it and its sleeping patterns, I could maybe juuuuuuust barely squeeze in a couple pumps before it woke up and launched me out of frame like I just tried to facetank a Falcon Punch.
But you know what? Still counts. I would take a step further than any man has gone before. They would build a statue of me in Florida and put it right next to one of Aaron Hernandez.
While he may not be as popular as his cousin or Mothman or any of the S tier cryptids, the fact that he's notorious for smelling like hot dog water elevates him in my eyes. He's no squatch, but he's still a formidable foe. He would emerge from the tall grass like a wild Pokemon, grab me by the legs, and rip me in half like he was eating string cheese. Who wants to be famous when you could be infamous, or better yet, be immortalized as the guy who sort of fucked a Bigfoot and then got peeled like an orange? You can't buy better publicity than that. And hey, at least I wouldn't be alive in Florida anymore.